Germany’s oldest party was founded in 1875, and is described as "center-left". It roots in the 19th century labor movement.
The SPD is the second largest party in terms of voter support, but the largest in terms of membership. Its voter base is the working class in urban areas. SPD icon Willy Brandt was foreign minister in the first "grand coalition" government with the CDU 1966-1969 and then became the first SPD chancellor.
As Germany looks towards a new security structure, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has raised doubts over cooperation in the "grand coalition." Current measures have been scrutinized since the Berlin terror attack.
Martin Schulz has decided not to make an attempt at becoming the Social Democrats candidate for chancellor. Is the move only to clear the way for Sigmar Gabriel to run against Chancellor Merkel or is there more to it?